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DOE to outline geothermal R&D plans at upcoming Stanford Workshop

Stanford University, California (source: flickr/ Jeff Pearce, creative commons)
Francisco Rojas 26 Jan 2015

Jay Nathwani, acting director of the U.S. Dept. of Energy's Geothermal Technologies Office, will discuss the DOE's plans to accelerate the development of geothermal energy at the 40th annual Stanford Geothermal Workshop.

Geothermal energy produces 5% of California’s electricity and is used to heat buildings in 43 countries. However, it could become a far larger global resource with the successful development of some technologies, like the application of hydraulic fracturing to get water to hot, dry rock thousands of feet below ground. This three-day workshop will feature research and development results from dozens of universities around the world, U.S. federal research laboratories and private companies.

Some research results to be presented:
First progress report on AltaRock Energy Inc.’s Newberry volcano project in Oregon, which is the first U.S., commercial-sized enhanced geothermal system (EGS).
Some physical mechanisms of injection-triggered seismicity near a fault—like fluid pressurization and stress due to cooling of reservoir rock—have the potential to control earthquakes during injection, a new Stanford study finds.
Researchers at the Raft River EGS in Utah have experimented with water temperature, injection rate and wellhead pressure in low-rate thermal fracturing as an alternative to hydraulic fracturing. Greater permeability and water conductivity have improved injectivity rates ten-fold.

The event takes place Jan. 26-28 at Stanford University’s Arrillaga Alumni Center.

Provided by Stanford University

Source: Phys.org Science News